Republican – The Party of Compassion?


OK, so once in a while I go political. Let me state up front that I am not rabidly for or against either of the two major political parties. I AM pro-life, pro-morality, and anti-big government. Most of all I am pro-God. What follows is an upshot of the discussions I have followed and participated in since the special election in Massachusetts. Many may not agree with me, and that’s OK. Since this is my blog I get to set the rules, so let’s just keep it civil – especially if you want your comments to stay. I don’t as a rule block or edit comments, but I will not allow off color, or obscene comments, nor will I tolerate personal attacks, implied or otherwise,  on me or anyone else – especially anyone else. Now for the main event.

“A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.” – Benjamin Franklin

I have been saddened by how many people dismiss the Republican Party as the party of no compassion, or anti social. Not because I am a Republican, but because it shows a fundamental lack of knowledge of our history. Maybe this stuff isn’t being taught in schools anymore, no, scratch the maybe, I’m pretty sure it is not. Historically, what has the Republican Party stood for? Is it big business as so many have claimed? Or was it something else? Let’s take a look at their stands over the years.

Abolition of slavery, this was the issue that the Republican Party formed around in 1854, their first presidential candidate, John Freemont, ran on an anti-slavery platform in 1856 and finished second to James Buchanan. In 1860 their second candidate Abraham Lincoln was elected on a similar platform.  In contrast the Democratic Party platform was pro slavery. (Don’t flame me, it’s a fact, look it up for yourself.) Post Civil War, southern Republicans form local “Union League” clubs to combat the KKK.

The party also supported Woman’s Suffrage, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and the 14th Amendment (due process, equal protection, etc.) Let’s talk about the 14th Amendment for a moment. It was specifically crafted to protect African-American rights, the Senate the vote was strictly along party lines with Republicans voting for and Democrats against it.

The Republican Party was also responsible for the 15th Amendment (“right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”). Howard University was established and funded by a Republican controlled congress, specifically to provide education to emancipated slaves. Dissent in the Plessy v. Ferguson decision in 1896 – which declared “separate but equal” to be constitutional was lead by a Republican appointee, and the Civil Rights Act of 1957 was passed by a Republican Majority and signed by a Republican President (Eisenhower). Neither FDR nor Harry Truman made any effort to pass this legislation despite their popularity among those of a more liberal bent. Brown vs. The Board of Education was also supported by the Republican Party.

The First African American, Hispanic, Jewish and Asian-American Senators, and the first woman US representative were all Republicans, the first woman Supreme Court Justice was appointed BY a Republican – in fact, Republican Administrations have by and large led the way with many firsts  in minority appointees. Despite the light many have tried to cast it in, anyone who honestly looks at the Republican Party and it’s actions (not what has been said about them but the unadulterated record), clearly show it to be the civil rights party.

I could go on and on …  there are issues I have not even touched in the interests of focus and brevity. All this is not hard to find out, although you will not read it in most history books. You don’t even have to go on a pro Republican site; in fact, I deliberately avoided them in researching this article. Now, I don’t expect anyone to go out and become a Republican because of this, in fact I don’t care what you are or become. My hope is it will start you thinking and make you a little less likely to take what anyone says at face value. Go ahead, check my facts – please! And the next time someone tells you what to think, check theirs as well. Let your electoral choices be based upon facts, and truth. Choose your candidates carefully looking not just at what they say, but what they do as well. My prayer is that you will make informed, moral, wise choices.

“He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of this country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man….The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.” – Samuel Adams

Blessings
KHD1/21/10

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About hisfool

I am a pilgrim on a journey, one which I pray leads to the day when I stand before the throne of God and hear "Well Done!" Along the way I have encountered good times and bad, been wounded and healed, fallen only to rise again. It does not make me any better, but perhaps, it makes me a little wiser and I pray a little more compassionate.
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2 Responses to Republican – The Party of Compassion?

  1. Bob says:

    Historically speaking the Republicans have defend minorities and promoted government works projects, however, they abandoned that platform in the 1920s. As time went on they distanced themselves further and the Democrats started to take the old Republican role. This climaxed in the 60s when the Democrats split between the Democrats (civil rights backers) and the Dixiecrats (anti-civil rights). Since, that point the Democrats became the supporters of the minorities and the Republicans took a more conservative stance. So yes, the party of Lincoln is a party of compassion (I dislike the use of this word because I believe both parties have compassion for people, just different ideas of how to apply that compassion) but they have drastically changed since honest Abe’s day

    • hisfool says:

      Sorry for the delay in approving your post, but it somehow got tagged as spam and shunted to the spam folder, so I never saw it until this evening. I agree that both parties have changed drastically since the time of Lincoln, and I too would not label either party the party of compassion. I do feel the need however to point out that the Civil Rights Act of 1957 was a Republican initiative. I will give the Kennedy and LBJ administrations for continuing the work, but it was started on the other side of the aisle and credit should be given where it is due.

      The downside of all of this has been the exponential growth of government and entitlements, especially in my 50 some years. I am not a fan of big government, but then again neither were our founders. I am reminded of a couple of my favorite quotes:

      “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” Patrick Henry

      “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.” Thomas Jefferson

      “I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.” James Madison

      “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does NOT mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country.” Theodore Roosevelt

      My hope is that more people will take the time to educate themselves instead of depending upon the media to educate them. Jefferson said that a man who did not read was more educated than one who read only the newspapers. How much truer is that today? We must know our story, understand our origins and our journey. We must seek to understand the thoughts and concerns of our founders for they are our roots and our character is derived from the foundation they built and I an convinced that it is one of small, not big government. That is why I will support candidates who will work to reign in government growth and spending regardless of their party affiliation.

      Perhaps we are beginning to see today something that Ike warned us of many years ago. In his words:”Every step we take towards making the State our Caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master.”
      Dwight D. Eisenhower

      Last but not least, I could not resist a quote from Ronald Regan: “I used to say that Politics is the second oldest profession [prostitution being the oldest], but I have come to realize that it bears a gross similarity to the first.”
      Ronald Reagan

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